Phillip Delano Turner, 81, of Masontown, formerly of Charleston, Atlanta Ga., and Lexington Ky., entered into eternal rest after a three year fight with cancer on Thursday, August 16, 2018, at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
He was born October 25, 1936, on the family farm in Bull Run, the son of the late Clarence E. Turner and Mary (Rice) Turner of Arthurdale.
Phil was a graduate of Masontown High School, Class of 1954, Potomac State College and West Virginia University. He began his professional career as a Teacher and Coach, with the Preston County Board of Education for six years teaching general science, physical education and coaching football, basketball and baseball.
Phil is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Carolyn (Zinn) Turner, who together celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on August 8, 2018.
In 1965, he started his public service career with the West Virginia Department of Welfare, where he held positions including social worker, county director, assistant commissioner, director, and deputy commissioner. Next, he served as Executive Director for the Commission on Aging where he directed all senior service programs within West Virginia. Phil retired from the State of West Virginia in 1988, and began a new career path with the United States Department of Agriculture in Atlanta, Ga. where he spent five and half years as Regional Food Stamp Director of the South Eastern Region and then to the State of Kentucky for another five and half years as the Officer-in Charge for Food & Nutrition Services where he administered all USDA Food Programs including: WIC, school lunch, school breakfast, summer feeding and etc. He worked very closely with the US Secret Service, US Attorney’s Office, USDA Office of Inspector General, Attorney Generals and local law enforcement officials conducting investigations and assisting in the prosecution of fraud abuse in the Food Service Programs.
During Phil’s tenure with the USDA, he served on the President’s Disaster Team providing service to victims that were affected living in the United States, for example, by Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew. He retired from the Federal USDA after 11 years. While working for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Governor, Paul E. Patton commissioned Phillip “A Kentucky Colonel” for his outstanding leadership and service to the State of Kentucky.
Following retirement Phil served as a Councilman on the Masontown Town Council and was then elected Recorder. He served as CEO for the Preston County Sheltered Workshop in Reedsville. Then CEO of Valley Healthcare Systems in Morgantown. Retiring after 45 years as a public servant for state, federal, and private agencies.
Phil was active in many community groups, boards and organizations including: WVU Affiliated Center for Developmentally Disabled, WVU Gerontology Center, Preston County Senior Citizens, Valley Health Care System, Economic Development Board, Charleston Elks, Beckley, Charleston and Valley Lions Clubs, WVU Emeritus Club, State Cancer Society, Red Cross, United Way, Special Olympics, Arthurdale Heritage, Reedsville VFD, Valley Alumni Association, and numerous sports organizations. He was also a member of the Reedsville United Methodist Church where he enjoyed cooking and preparing the monthly men’s breakfast with Raymond Strahin.
Phillip is survived by his three loving children, daughter, Kimberly Turner Strickland and husband Allen, of Parkersburg; son, Michael, of Masontown, and daughter, Victoria Kaluzny and husband Mike, of La Port, Ind.; four grandchildren, Mary (Strickland) Thompson (Jay), of Vienna, Justin Phillip Young (Amanda), of Charleston, Michael Casey Padlo, of La Port, Ind. and Hollie Marie Turner, of Masontown; five great- grandchildren, Brice Myers, Leo Thompson and Maxwell Thompson, of Vienna, and Tucker and Parker Young, of Charleston.
A special thank you to two dear friends, Don and Nancy Morris, of Fla. and two special people he considered as brothers, Buck Sparks and Tom Kuhn, to his coffee buddies that he met with each morning at the senior center, along with Phil’s many nieces and nephews that he was so proud of and loved dearly.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by three brothers, Raymond, Charles and Eldon Turner; two sisters, Alma “Boots” Boudreaux and Velma June Ault.
Phillip was a devoted WVU sports fan, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The joy of his life was being with his love ones, traveling and playing golf with his friends. For the last 10 years Carolyn and he spent the winter months in Fla.
In continuation of his quest for being a servant to others, he requested that his body be donated to the WVU Human Gift Registry for Health Sciences Education and Research.
Friends and family will be received at Morgan Funeral Home, in Reedsville, from 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 15, until the celebration of life memorial service at 4 p.m. with Gary E. Helms officiating. Internment will take place at a later date with immediate family members at the Mount Zion Cemetery, in Masontown.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the Mount Zion Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 57, Masontown, WV 26542.
Morgan Funeral Home is honored to serve the Turner family.